Every year, with the support of John Hancock, Mass Mentoring Partnership enlists great individuals to run the Boston Marathon and raise money to support our work. All of the money they raise directly fuels our mission to create empowering youth-adult relationships across the state. For 2017, we were fortunate to have two runners. One of the runners, Sam Melchiorri of MMP Mentor ALKU, shared her journey to the finish line with us:
How did you hear about MMP?
I work at ALKU and because our CEO, Mark Eldridge, has a strong connection and history with MMP, I have done three 50-mile bike races and fundraisers for MMP. But, I wanted a bigger challenge!
What did your journey to the finish line look like?
The Boston Marathon is the most difficult marathon - so they say. It also goes through my hometown, and I grew up knowing that the most inspirational day of Spring is Patriot's Day, and that it is!
Training was brutal to say the least. However, I love running. I'm not sure why, but it is such a high when you finish a daunting run. Having a plan and a big calendar with milestones was the only way to stick to early Saturday morning wake ups. Each week, you added a mile to your long run - up to around 21 miles at a time - and you would begin to look at Saturday as an opponent. Saturday was almost like that one person you always wanted to beat at something, who's score would stare you in the face day and day out. You then realize this is the marathon, something most people don't participate in, and the only competition is the finish line, and getting your toes to cross it. Running for such a great cause and knowing you have so many people supporting you really keeps you going.
What is your relationship with mentoring?
I have raised close to $16,000 in the past for MMP through the Rodman Ride for Kids - a cause that is important to me and provides children with greater opportunities. We need to enable youth to be inspired, not ignore their potential. They are our future, and will be supporting us when we need help, it all comes full circle! I couldn't be happier to help in any way.
How has this experience impacted you?
I learned that anything can be accomplished. Raising money is difficult. Doing it while training for a marathon and working a 60 hour a week job makes it incredibly tough. But knowing I was making an impact on young people who need support made it all worth it.
Next steps for me...not running for a long time!
I want to get heavily involved in mentoring not only for Massachusetts, but for my new home in Washington D.C. Anyone who may question how mentoring helps support young people should really learn more about organizations like Mass Mentoring Partnership and what they have to offer. It's powerful to experience the impact you can have on others. You'll be surprised what a difference you can make.
There is still time to support Team MMP’s fundraising goal - Donate today.